Cuba’s Imposed Glasnost

On the Emerging Normalization of Relations between the United States and Cuba

cuba20141221aThe December 17 joint announcement by Barack Obama and Raúl Castro Ruiz, presidents of the United States and Cuba, respectively, on the immediate steps being taken to normalize relations between the two countries has stunned the world.

After more than 50 years of Cold War conflict, which included a failed invasion, a nuclear superpower standoff, and decades of covert warfare, espionage and economic blockade, both the U.S. and Cuba are now talking about the establishing of embassies, loosened restrictions on travel and money transfers, and increasing access to the Internet for the majority of Cuban citizens.

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End of Illusions

Grand Jury Decisions in Deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner Expose Reality of Capitalism

police20141208aNEW YORK, N.Y., December 7 — As we go to press, mass protests continue across the country in response to grand jury decisions that have cleared the police officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City.

On Nov. 24, a St. Louis County grand jury returned a “no true bill” (a legal term for no charges) against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop who shot and killed Brown while he stood with his hands in the air. Nine days later, on Dec. 3, a Staten Island grand jury handed down its own “no true bill” in the case of NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who applied a chokehold on Garner, provoking a heart attack.

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The System Worked

A System Cannot Fail Those Who It Was Never Designed to Protect.” — W.E.B. Dubois

mbrown20141125aThe outcome of the so-called grand jury in the case of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, the killer of 18-year-old Mike Brown, should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It certainly wasn’t a surprise to those living in Ferguson, who already knew that the fix was in.

From the beginning, it was clear that none of the local or state officials, from Governor Jay Nixon to County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch to Mayor James Knowles and Chief Thomas Jackson, wanted to see Wilson face a trial in the August 9 shooting. They would have preferred to see those residents who were angry over Brown’s death quietly and forcefully swept off the streets. Indeed, that was the original plan — to drive the African American community off the streets and back into their homes through the use of their armed enforcers of “law and order.”

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